There are those falls that occur in care facilities and nursing homes that are accidents. There are others that occur as a result of negligence and lack of supervision which can be considered nursing home abuse. These types of falls can result in serious injury or, worse, death. If you believe that someone was known fall risk and the outcome was severe, speak to an experienced fall attorney who will help you seek the necessary compensation.
Assessing the Risk of Falling
Every nursing facility in our country has a legal obligation to correctly and thoroughly assess the needs of each of their residents when admitted and then create an individualized care plan and follow it meticulously to protect the resident’s health and safety.
The resident’s care plan has to include a thorough evaluation of all the factors that may contribute to a fall. Full consideration of the person’s health issues should be taken into account, including:
- Impaired vision
- Mobility limitations
- General loss of balance and strength
- Medications that cause drowsiness, poor reaction time or dizziness
The care plan should further detail an inventory of the necessary assistive devices and equipment necessary to provide quality and adequate care to the person and keep them reasonably safe. This includes:
- Positioning of rails and grab bars
- Walkers and any other mobility aids
- Installation of cushioned surfaces
- Assessment of a safe height for toilets, chairs, and beds
What to Look Out For
Often, nursing home residents don’t report a fall, so it is important for relatives to lookout for any indications of injuries, such as abrasions and bruises. If you think a fall has occurred, ask to see the resident’s chart. Under federal law, the chart must be provided to anyone acting as a guardian and who has the legal right to inspect it.
Who’s Responsible for Nursing Home Falls?
While not every fall that occurs in a nursing home facility is preventable, if the facility or a member of its staff acts negligently, or fails to take reasonable action to prevent a fall, they can be held liable and you may be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit against them.
If any of the following examples happen in a facility setting and the resident is injured, there is a good case for liablity:
- Failure to reassess and modify resident’s care plans
- Understaffing, which prevents the provision of adequate care
- Failure to develop a care plan based on a person’s health condition and unique needs when admitted
- Failure to use proper care techniques, such as when transferring a resident from bed to wheelchair
- Hiring staff who are not qualified or failing to provide adequate training
- Failure to remedy any environmental hazards in public areas or living units, including poor lighting, wet floors, and defective floors
- Failure to meticulously follow facility protocol for access to call buttons and care alarms
Do You Need to Speak to a New York City Lawyer?
Has your elderly relative suffered a preventable injury from a fall in a nursing facility? At Dansker&Aspromonte, we have years of experience representing individuals and families harmed by other people’s recklessness and negligence. Talk to use about seeking the deserved compensation. While we work tirelessly to settle cases without a trial and will be ready to take your case to court.
We work to get the answers we need and collect conclusive evidence about the fall injury. For instance:
- If you have learned of poorly explained and serious injuries that seem to be signs of physical abuse or a fall
- If your loved one had a physical or mental condition that necessitated vigilant supervision to prevent them wandering into unsafe situations and falling
- If you suspect the patient was dropped while being transferred in or out of bed or a chair
Contact Us for a Free Consultation
If the accident occurred in the New York City metro or surrounds, we will meet with you for a free consultation to advice on your potential case against your relative’s nursing home. With over 35 years of experience and a team of expert attorneys, we’re ready to help you. Get in touch online today or call us at 212-732-2929.